My last visit home between community visits was a short one, enough time to throw my clothes into the washing machine before repacking back into my bag and a quick confab with hubby and the builder over building issues.
It was pleasing to see the stumps were all in as well as the bearers and joists down as well as some of the structural posts for the garage and main house, now it really looks like the house takes up the full block.
The builder had a bit of trouble with the concrete pour for the stumps. Due to our unseasonably high rainfall this year, the holes kept filling with water. When they pumped in the concrete the water of course was displaced but as it overflowed it brought with it some of the concrete, hence we have a thin slurry of concrete under the entire house area. Correction – when handy hubby went to clear up the overflow around the house site he found it wasn’t quite so thin in places, hmmm we may have to consider putting in some alkaline loving plants in those areas. We will also need to punch some holes in the overflow under the house to make sure we don’t get water pooling and creating water traps for mosquitos.
I also realise now where some of the costs for this project are to be found. We were discussing the size of the stump holes and the way the framing steel posts are bolted to these. The builder mentioned the engineer’s request for the type of glue that holds these in place was of a rating usually found in commercial buildings. Additionally the engineer had specified a non-standard bore width for the stump holes. This had necessitated boring larger width holes as no one had an auger of that size and with a smaller project it is not worth having an auger specially made. This of course meant more concrete and more cost. We had already picked up that the engineers had over-engineered the carport slab and had that amended, maybe we should have asked for a second opinion for the rest of the house. Still this house is obviously getting off to a good start with a solid foundation.
The concrete blocks had been delivered. Well some of them anyway. We were concerned when we saw a load of plain grey concrete blocks had been delivered along with the ‘almond’ coloured ones; where were the brown ones for the large side wall? A quick text to the builder and he arrived on site to put our minds at ease. It turns out the brick company had made an error and the brown blocks were still to be delivered. The grey blocks will be used in an internal wall in the carport area which is unseen from the outside as it will be clad in metal finish – I hadn’t realised there was an internal wall there, glad I have the builder there to explain the plans to me. I did have a moment of concern when I looked at the ‘almond’ coloured blocks for the small wall on the carport – are they too yellow, should I have chosen the whiter blocks? I took all the colour swatches provided by the colour consultant out to compare, the jury is out on that one. In hind sight I should have made a call to Lorne, the colour consultant, and asked his advice. Hubby has told me not to worry as if it looks out of place we can always paint the blocks, although this is something we wanted to avoid in the first place.
As of last Sunday, when I left for another week of bush work, all work had ceased while we waited for the missing blocks to arrive, hopefully they will be delivered this week and the block-layer can commence. I contrast our build with that of a house across the road and another behind us. Both these houses are of a standard design and have been erected very quickly. While they both look like they will be nice looking places, I wanted a home that had met our needs, in particular having the home office separate from the house, a more costly option but hopefully it will suit our needs.